I really like what Samsung is doing with its mid-range Galaxy A series. The Galaxy A53 launched earlier this year with a good-looking design, reliable internal hardware, good cameras, and stellar battery life. The best part about the Galaxy A53 is that it will get four Android OS updates — the same as the Galaxy S22 Ultra and Z Fold 4.
Samsung already rolled out the Android 13 update to the Galaxy A53, making it stand out that much more against its rivals. The phone routinely sells for $449, but for Black Friday, Samsung is bringing it down to $349 on Amazon. This is the lowest price yet for the device, and if you're looking to pick up a new phone ahead of the holidays, the Galaxy A53 is the obvious choice.
The Galaxy A53 has everything you need in a mid-range phone: it is fast enough in daily use, the large AMOLED screen is ideal for streaming content, the battery easily lasts over a day, and it takes good photos in any situation. Throw in class-leading updates, and you have a fabulous all-rounder.
A big part of the allure of the Galaxy A53 against other devices like the Pixel 6a — which is now selling for $299 — is the software. Samsung's One UI 5 interface feels familiar and has more features to offer than just about any other manufacturer. If you're already using a Samsung phone, you'll feel right at home here.
The Galaxy A53 also stands out for its large AMOLED panel with 120Hz refresh, and the screen is ideally-suited for streaming videos and playing games. I didn't see any slowdowns whatsoever with the device, and the 5000mAh battery easily lasts over a day without breaking a sweat.
Having used the Pixel 6a alongside the A53, my recommendation would be the A53 if you're already using a Samsung device. While the Pixel 6a takes better photos and is faster in daily use, there is a bit of a learning curve associated with Google's Android 13 interface. So if you want a familiar software interface, reliable hardware, and long-term software updates, the Galaxy A53 is the phone for you. Now that it is on sale for $349, there isn't a better time to pick up the device.
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Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.